HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present … Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country, with HERO Sports.
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ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF (2-9 IN 2018)
The SWAC (UAPB was Tied 4th in East in 2018)
COACH: Cedric Thomas – At School: 2nd year (2-9 record), Overall: Same
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: None
2018 OFFENSE: 25.3 ppg. (81st in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 43.2 ppg. (119th in FCS)
KEY GAME: Nov. 17 – @Texas Southern – Last year the Golden Lions kicked five field goals in this game to hand UAPB its lone FCS win (thank you Jamie Gillan – who is currently working towards kicking/punting in the pros as a career). One can imagine this game should be interesting once again.
SUM IT UP: The 2018 season was a perplexing one for UAPB, as it fell by four points to non-FCS Morehouse College, went to overtime with Grambling and Mississippi Valley State and was just three points short of Jackson State. In other words, this program wasn't that far from five or six wins, yet in other games the Golden Lions truly took it on the chin. So who is back to take another shot at this? Actually, a decent chunk of last year's starting lineup in the win against Texas Southern were underclassmen.
There are skill position studs abound, led by HERO Sports Freshman All American WR DeJuan Miller, who was impressive in his first go around — and this program should post some points this fall with 10 starters back on "O". Both quarterbacks who took snaps this spring, Skyler Perry and Shannon Patrick, showed they could get it done last fall. If the guys up front can gum up the opponent for a few seconds, and the defense can bump down its points per game average from last year, watch out.
OUR TAKE: This could be a fun team to watch this fall, because the offensive skill talent is impressive and ready to post some points. We're not projecting a SWAC championship here, but the Golden Lions aren't going to win only one FCS game this year (as it did last year) … it'll win some entertaining shootouts this fall. Look for UAPB to at least double its win total from a year ago and have fun doing it.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Sr./DL Jalen Steward (16 TFLs, 70 tackles – 1st Team All SWAC)
THE FOUNDATION: Soph./WR DeJuan Miller (HERO Sports Freshman All American – 55 catches, 781 yds, 6 TDs – was spring standout); Sr./RB Taeyler Porter (1,220 yards rushing, 9 TDs – 1st Team All SWAC); Jr./WR Tyrin Ralph (43 catches, 444 yds, 2 TDs); Soph./QB Skyler Perry (1,748 yds passing, 8 TDs); Sr./DB-WR Henri Murphy (Virginia Tech transfer).
TOP NEWCOMER: Jr./WR Henry Ballard III (Missouri Transfer)
THE QUOTE: "We've got to continue to maintain and cultivate this culture. It starts in the classroom and finishing up the right way there. Then get in the weight room and continue to transform this thing. We like where we are, and we're about to turn this thing around." — Head Coach Cedric Thomas said during spring ball
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Arkansas-Pine Bluff Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The SWAC
Alabama A&M | Alabama St.| Alcorn St.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff | Grambling | Jackson St. | Miss. Valley St.
Prairie View A&M | Southern U. | Texas Southern
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast